The future has long begun. But what does it look like? What technical possibilities does it offer us?... Opened in 1996, the Ars Electronica Centre - the Museum of the Future - gives adults and children alike an extremely interesting taste of future technologies in which terms such as "digital networks" almost appear antiquated. The exciting exhibition is designed in such a way that visitors can experience the technologies of the future hands on.
The CAVE, for example, is a cube measuring 3 x 3 x 3 meters (10 x 10 x 10 ft) in which people can enter into a virtual three-dimensional world. There is also the "Khronos Projector" where a pliable projection surface allows you to move individual image elements of a film backwards or forwards in time. Completely new perspectives are created through so-called "time islands" or "time waves". State-of-the-art robot technology, exciting journeys through time with computer films where you get to find out all about "special effects", buildings whose components melt - you cannot help but be amazed!more
The Festival Hall complex, which takes in the former rooms of the royal stables, snuggles up idyllically... against the Mönchsberg. Both the small and the large festival halls were built by Clemens Holzmeister. The Old or Small Festival Hall was originally a winter riding school, which has turned into a spacious hall after several renovations and which became the "Mozart Hall" in 2006. The Large or New Festival Hall featuring a 132 ft (40 m) high stage house is built deep into the rock of the Mönchsberg. The auditorium with seating for more than 2,000 people is well-known for its excellent acoustics.
Altogether, the three theaters of the Festival Halls seat 5,000 spectators at the famous Salzburger Festival, inaugurated in 1920 with a performance of Hofmannsthal's "Jedermann" directed by Max Reinhardt. Since then, prominent names such as Toscanini, Herbert von Karajan and Peter Stein have ensured the continued popularity of this important artistic and social event.more
You could be forgiven for thinking a friendly alien had landed on the right bank of the Mur. And to some... extent you'd be right: the Kunsthaus, which was opened in 2003, has an impressive, visionary architecture which is pretty much unique. Although opinions on the "blue wonder" are still divided, the Kunsthaus Graz is now accepted as the latest trademark of Graz.
London star architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier used innovative lines to produce a complex place which is both a home for art and art in itself. There is a bluish shimmering shell which rises above the glass ground floor like a bubble. With a span of up to 60 metres, this structure covers two large exhibition areas with no supports. "Nozzles" - striking daylight openings - rise from its surface, which is essentially a skin of acrylic glass. In the upper storeys, there are bridges linking the 23 metre new building with what is known as the "Iron House", a protected cast iron construction which is the oldest of its kind in Central Europe and which was carefully and lovingly restored during the building of the Kunsthaus. Thanks to Max Neuhaus, there is an innovative clock on the building producing unusual sounds advising passers-by of the time ten minutes before every hour. Unique!more
Near the Karmeliterplatz is the Palais Saurau; there are many legends associated with the figure in the... gable. The Turk with the dagger is so well known that it is easy to overlook the beauty of the building itself; it is a huge building with a Renaissance portal and stone coats of arms. Pankraz von Windischgrätz had the impressive four-winged palace built in 1566 close to what were the city walls in those days. In 1630, the Count of Saurau took over the property and made it Baroque in the style of the time. He created splendid rooms and the fanlight above the gate, which is among the most beautiful examples of baroque wrought ironwork in Styria.
But what about the Turk with the dagger peering through a hole in the gable of the roof at passers-by? There are lots of legends. One of them says that the Turks had taken Graz, except the fortress on the Schlossberg. While a Turkish pasha was having dinner what is now Palais Saurau, a cannonball shot from Schlossberg hit his plate containing his meal and catapulted it out of the window. Enraged, the Turks left Graz immediately.more
Founded in 1995 and reopened at the end of 2003, the underground Swarovski Crystal Worlds, designed by... André Heller, have become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Austria. The crystal artworks composed by famous artists and presented by Heller in a breathtaking way, take you into a fascinating world of sparkling light. After visitors have passed the water-spouting head of an alpine giant at the entrance, the Crystal Planet, a 3D projection, presents the history of the world making use of crystal metaphors. Inside the Crystal Dome the interior of a crystal object is reflected in 590 facets. The Crystaloscope, a giant kaleidoscope, features special healing crystals. These unique crystals were developed by a German therapist in cooperation with Swarovski. Sensitive people can feel the harmony that radiates from these crystals. The other crystal rooms, bearing the artistic signatures of Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí and many others, are fascinating as well.more
The collections on exhibit at the Joanneum, Styria's official museum, cover a broad spectrum of culture,... art, history and nature. They are distributed among different buildings in Graz: the Landeszeughaus (National Armoury Museum) in the Herrengasse, the Neue Galerie of 19th and 20th century fine arts in Sackstrasse and other locations in the area. The art history collection is closed at present due to reorganization.
Visitors to the museum do well to decide in advance on what to concentrate and to make their selections accordingly. The Neue Galerie is being relocated to Joanneumsviertel and can be visited again there from 2011. The Art History Collection, at present closed, will open in 2011 in magnificent Palais Herberstein in the city centre. The Natural History Collection in Raubergasse is being rearranged and will also open in 2011.more
The Salzburg Zoo is a special highlight. The owners are rightfully proud of the way the animals are kept... in their natural environment: approximately 140 native and exotic species (approx. 800 animals) are kept in outdoor enclosures similar to natural surroundings which cover 35 acres (14 ha).
The new South America House opened in spring 2007. It provides an insight into the diversity of the fauna in South America's rain forest, with poison dart frogs, piranhas, skull monkeys and golden-headed lion tamarins. Three flying griffon vultures are a special attraction for bird lovers. Many of the animals only become active at dusk in the hot month of August. If you want to observe a snow leopard searching for food or an otter playing during this time, it is best to visit the zoo on a Friday or Saturday evening.more
The mighty Cathedral rises up between Domplatz and Residenzplatz to dominate the town's skyline. This... dark grey building, modelled on Italian cathedrals, was built in 1614-1628 by the court architect Santino Solari and its structures have often been copied in Southern Germany. Three heavy bronze doors symbolising faith, love, and hope form the entrance area.
In the spacious interior, all eyes are immediately drawn to the choir loft, which has light flooding through it and from which three aisles branch off. The crypt to the right of the choir loft consists of several rooms, in which the archbishops found their last resting place The crypt chapel whose altar rests on the ruined walls of the Carolingian cathedral is particularly worth seeing. A crucifix dating from the 13th century, along with a 12th-century baptismal font supported by four lions, are the cathedral's oldest treasures. The remarkable cathedral museum has an interesting display of valuable art from the archdiocese of Salzburg.more
The birthplace of the famous composer and musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on the 27th January... 1756, lies in one of Salzburg's most beautiful streets. He lived there with his family until he was 6 years old. The rooms formerly occupying the third floor of the house have been turned into a museum. The children's violin on which Mozart played in his early years, a clavichord from the year 1760, a pianoforte, notes and portraits are among the memorabilia of the early life of this musical genius. On the second floor, there is an interesting exhibition on "Mozart in the Theater"; part of the programme is a reconstruction of young Mozart's concert appearances on miniature stages. On the third floor, there is an exhibition by stage designer, director and lighting designer Robert Wilson which opened in 2005 and which features objects from Mozarts life in a permanent exhibition which give a whole new perception of space.more
The sweeping Residenzplatz forms the core of the Old Town. On it, one of Austria's largest and most impressive... Baroque fountains can be found, created in the years 1656-1661 by an Italian master builder. Day by day its four water-spraying seahorses watch their live four-legged cousins, harnessed to a fiacre and waiting for customers.
The former residence of the prince-bishops is situated on the western rim of the square. Its appearance today is the cumulative result of several redesigns. The splendid rooms in its interior are furnished in late-Baroque and early Classicist style, the second floor is decorated by artistically designed wall and ceiling frescoes. Flemish tapestries and noble Parisian furniture adorn the audience chamber. A wide-ranging collection of European paintings from the 16th to the 19th centuries is exhibited at the Residence's gallery.more
Located about 6 km (4 miles) south of Salzburg, the yellow Hellbrunn Castle once was the pleasure seat... of the prince-archbishop Markus Sittikus. Its Italian style was probably influenced by architect Santino Solari, who was instrumental in the castle's construction from 1613-1615. The artistic frescoes in the banquet hall and the octagonal music room are particularly charming. They show pictures of strolling ladies and gentlemen from the upper classes.
What is probably the oldest open-air stage in the German-speaking world can be found on the Hellbrunn Mountain. The first opera performance was held here in 1617. The Salzburg Folklore Museum in the Monatsschlössl is also worth a visit. Here you will get a good overview of the folklore of the Salzburg district and it is open from 10 am to 5.30 pm, April to October.
The main attraction in the palace gardens are the fountains. Like automated water machines, the water splashes playfully into the basins in magnificent grottos and fountains. Also fascinating is the water-driven technology behind the mechanical theatre. The palace gardens also serve however as a place for sport and recreation (in summer daily 6 am-9 pm).more
The collections in this museum include works by important, international, contemporary artists. An exhibition... provides an insight into the creations of the sculptor Stephan Balkenhol, whose animal sculptures deserve special attention. The photographer Joel Meyerowitz illustrates and documents society in the USA since 1960. Two of his works can be seen here: one of them deals with everyday life on the streets of New York in the 1970s, and the second work "Aftermath", which has become very famous, deals with the attacks against the World Trade Center and shows pictures of Ground Zero. Anselm Kiefer became famous thanks to his epic material pictures. His favourite topic is an examination of the world of myths and religions. His painting appeals due to his great variety of techniques and materials.
The "Majong" collection whisks us off to the Far East. Exhibits from Sigg's private collection, one of the internationally most comprehensive and significant collections of contemporary Chinese art, can also be seen here. The works show the development of Chinese art since the 1970s in chronological order.more
The most important sacred building on the right bank of the Salzach in the old town was built between... 1694 and 1702 according to plans by the famous Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. It was his first building in Baroque style. Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun ordered the construction of the church and the adjacent seminar for young men in training to become priests. The playful façade with the two towers and central dome are the eye-catcher of the marketplace.
The large fresco in its dome by Johann Michael Rottmayr, which the master painted from 1697 to 1700, is an important work in art history. It depicts the coronation of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity with lots of angels looking on. The high altar and the side altars were also constructed according to plans by Fischer von Erlach. Bernhard Michael Mandl, the best-known Baroque sculptor of the city, designed the life-size angels on the side altars. The Salzburg architect Otto Prossinger produced the sepulchre of St. Ernest only in 1959.more
Archbishop Wolf Dietrich had this castle built for his lover Salome Alt in 1606 and logically named it... "Altenau". He fathered 15 children with Salome, the daughter of a rich businessman. To cover up this embarrassing fact, his successor Archbishop Markus Sittikus renamed it "Schloss Mirabell" (Mirabell Castle). During the Thirty Years War, Paris Graf von Londron built an imposing bastion complex, in which he incorporated the castle. At the beginning of the 18th century, the building was expanded into a splendid Baroque castle complex according to plans by Lukas von Hildebrandt, the best-known architect of the Austrian Baroque period after Fischer von Erlach. It was severely damaged by a large fire in 1818 and then only rebuilt in a simplified form.
Today, you can visit the Marble Hall in the western wing and a Baroque staircase, which Salzburg residents call the angel staircase due to the many putti that adorn the curved handrail. Marble Hall is mainly covered by marble or imitation marble and partially richly adorned with gilded stucco. This was previously the festival hall of the prince-bishop and is now used as a concert hall following a good tradition; Wolfgang and Nannerl Mozart performed here.more
The Schloss Mirabell park now covers three areas: the Baroque Garden, the Dwarf Park and the Hedge Theat.... The layout of the Baroque Mirabellgarten - also called Schlossparterre - is based on plans by Fischer von Erlach. The park is surrounded by stone balustrades with statues of gods which were created around 1689. The architect Franz Anton Danreiter made extensive changes to the park in 1730. The large fountain with Pegasus, the horse with wings, in the center is an eye-catcher. The Italian sculptor Ottavio Mosto created the four groups of figures around the fountain in 1690. They represent the Rape of Proserpina, the Rape of Helena, Aeneas and Anchises as well as Antaeus.
The historical Dwarf Park, which has found a new home in the old water bastion, is worth seeing and rather bizarre. This section of the garden was previously part of the Londron ring of fortresses. Archbishop Franz Anton Fürst Harrach had a theatre built here with 28 marble dwarfs at the beginning of the 18th century. The deformed men were intended to amuse the audience. There are sometimes concerts and plays in the small Hedge Theater these days.more
A must for every visitor to Salzburg is a stroll through the most beautiful and famous alley in the city,... which is also the main shopping street. The many guild signs on the artfully adorned portals will immediately catch your eye. There are many peaceful courtyards behind the pretty building façades. Although this street seems very touristy, you can still find nice shops and restaurants.
An important major road ran through here in Roman times. Starting from today's Waagplatz, the rows of houses spread upstream over time, and you can still find the year of construction on many buildings. When the city was granted the "Stapelrecht" (storage law) in the 14th century, it became more prosperous. It was then possible for travelling traders to "store" their goods for a specific time and to sell them (this was done in the buildings at Waagplatz 1 and Getreidegasse 18-22). Salzburg's most famous citizen, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was also born in Getreidegasse in 1756 (Hagenauer Haus, Getreidegasse 9). Getreidegasse was considered then, as it is today, one of the best business locations in Salzburg.more
A walk through the Salzburg Open Air Museum next to the gates of Salzburg reveals six centuries of rural... decor in the Salzburg countryside. Mills and blacksmiths, a village school, a brewery, and many large and small farmhouses are dotted along the 4.3 mi (7 km) long network of paths. Demonstrations of ancient artisan skills regularly take place during the summer, while traditional markets, folk events and folk music performances liven up the museum. Cows, horses and sheep graze in the paddocks which are fenced in using historical fence-building techniques. The ponds and streams make use of historical forms of propulsion technology. The tractor exhibition in the ‘Krallerhof’ wows adults and children alike. The exhibition in the Abraham courtyard provides visitors with a glimpse of life in the remote world of Lungau. The 12-minute multivision show ‘Museum Views’ point out the most remarkable details in the museum.more
Many see the Bergisel ski jump as the new symbol of the sporting city of Innsbruck. Rebuilt in 2001,... this site where the Olympic flame was lit in 1964 and 1976, is, with over 28,000 spectator seats, reserved predominantly for sport - the ski jumpers in the annual Four Jump Tournament - but also offers much for tourists. People who come to enjoy the view and visit coffee shops, technology enthusiasts and architecture fans will all get their money’s worth here.
Those for whom it is not enough to observe the excellent masterpiece of the star architect Zaha Hadid, which won the Austrian National Prize for Architecture in 2002, from afar can go right up to it - either on foot or using the inclined lift. A panorama café for 150 people awaits at the top in the tower which, at 154 ft (47 m), offers an impressive 360-degree view over the Tyrol mountain area.more
This grandiose building erected by Archduke Ferdinand II on an exposed cliff on the outskirts of Innsbruck... is one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in the German-speaking world. The artistic archduke established the grand Ambras collections, to house which he had a museum constructed underneath the castle which was designed according to the most modern specifications.
In addition to the 140 ft (43 m) long Spanish hall, the art and curiosity chambers and the armory, the Habsburg portrait gallery, which combines more than 200 portraits including the most valuable works of famous artists such as Cranach and Tizian, is particularly worth a visit. There is also a permanent exhibition dedicated to Ferdinand’s first wife, Philippine Welser, featuring one of the few cookery books still remaining from the Middle Ages. Another highlight is the collection of works from the late Middle Ages on the ground floor of the upper castle, the centrepiece of which is the Georgsalter of Emperor Maximilian I. Since December 2004, visitors have also been able to visit the reopened St Nicolas Chapel. This neo-Gothic masterpiece houses, among other things, the Ambras chapel treasure.more
When the Tyrol Chamber of Commerce decided in 1888 to collect together examples of handicraft products,... its main purpose was to give a fresh impetus to Tyrolean handicrafts. The aim was to create a "Museum of Tyrolean Industry". Many types of handicrafts were collected, also including masks, regional costumes and devotional items. The area covered was the old state of Tyrol with modern Trentino (South Tyrol) and the Ladino valleys around the Dolomites, with objects originating from farming families, the bourgeoisie and the nobility. The Tyrol Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented the collection to the state of Tyrol in 1926, and the Tyrolean Museum of Folk Art was finally opened in 1929.
The first floor takes visitors through customs throughout the year. The second floor is dedicated to life from pregnancy to the Last Judgement. Highlights on the theme of customs are the Tyrolean carnival masks and the magnificent collection of furniture. Many artifacts of religious life, such as domestic altars, vessels for holy water, rosaries, devotional items and votive gifts bear witness to the once profound faith of the people. There is also a magnificent collection of costumes from different eras and for different classes of society.more
The local railways around Innsbruck have been completely refurbished. The new Nordkettenbahn cable car... opened for the 2006/2007 winter season; the old route was retained and the mountain stations, all listed monuments, were sensitively renovated. The new gondolas with their large panoramic windows bring visitors from the district of Hungerburg to the Seegrube (6,250 ft / 1,905 m), where they can change to the second section up to the Hafelekar (7,444 ft / 2,269 m), a peak on the "Nordkette" ridge north of Innsbruck. Form here, the view over the city, the Inn valley and the Karwendel mountains is breathtaking. The area around the Seegrube and the high alpine Hafelekar is popular with walkers.
In the winter of 2007, the Hungerburgbahn also resumed operations. Directly from the Kongresshaus conference center in the old town, this funicular railway starts off underground before crossing reinforced concrete bridges to the Löwenhaus and Alpenzoo stations. The terminus is in the district of Hungerburg, with a connection to the Nordkettenbahn.more
Innsbruck's main boulevard is named after the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresia. It has become famous not... only because of its magnificent baroque buildings, erected over the centuries by various aristocratic families as residences and prestigious buildings, but also due to the unique backdrop against which it was laid out. It is very seldom that a guest in any town is able to enjoy a coffee in a Mediterranean-type atmosphere and at the same time have a view of snow-covered peaks. Numerous shops further enhance the street's ambience. The triumphal arch at its southern end was erected in 1765 by Maria Theresia on the occasion of the wedding of her son, Archduke Leopold.more
The Golden Roof is one of Innsbruck's main landmarks and without doubt the most glittering when the sun's... rays are reflected in the almost 3,000 gold-plated roofing plates. Immense and splendid, the roof is considered one of the most beautiful and most spectacular examples of Medieval architecture, of which there are many in Innsbruck.
Although legend has it that Duke Friedrich had it built as a testimony to his wealth and generosity (and to prove that he didn't deserve his nickname "empty pockets"), it was in fact commissioned by Kaiser Maximilian in around 1500 in order to have a suitable viewpoint from the bay below of the tournaments taking place in the castle courtyard. The view can still be enjoyed today by visitors to the "Goldenes Dachl-Maximilianeum" museum. This multimedia exhibition was opened just a few years ago and gives an interesting insight into Kaiser Maximilian's life.more
The Glockenmuseum or Bell Museum of the Grassmayr bell foundry, which has been awarded the Austrian Museum... Award, is a feast for the senses. This family business has been casting bells for churches and bell towers throughout the world for the past 400 years.
In the sound room you can listen to the sounds of different bells and see how they affect one another - it's a unique experience. It is a lively demonstration of history and tradition.more
One of the finest High Baroque churches is situated to the northwest of Innsbruck's Hofburg palace on... the Domplatz (Cathedral Square). St Jacob's Cathedral was built between 1717 and 1724 according to plans by Jakob Herkomer and Johann Georg Fischer. The name refers to Innsbruck's situation on the Jakobsweg (the pilgrimage trail of St James). Inside the church are two artistic highlights: the Madonna and Child by Lucas Cranach the Elder on the altar, and the ceiling frescos and stucco work by the Asam brothers. The tomb with the twisted columns decorated with natural motifs is a memorial to the Tyrolean Archduke Maximilian III, Grand Master of the Order of Teutonic Knights. The gilded pulpit by Nikolaus Moll (circa 1724) is borne by the three virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity.
The bells of the church are also famous. The "Marienglocke" (St Mary's bell), the largest of the eight bells, was cast in 1846 and, at 7 ft (2.2 m) in diameter, it is the largest historic bell in the Tyrol. Every day at 12.10 pm, the "peace chimes" ring out from the North Tower, with 48 bells playing the first 4-octave carillon in Austria.more